Governance Academy

Attendee at CSDC training

What is the Governance Academy?

CSDC’s Online Governance Academy is a series of on-demand learning modules designed to provide California charter school governing board members with the information they need to effectively oversee their schools.

Online Governance Academy is also a valuable resource to other charter school personnel who frequently interface with their governing boards, including school principals, CFOs, COOs, and other charter school administrators.

Who has access to Governance Academy?

Online Governance Academy modules are available to personnel currently employed by CSDC Member schools, or current board members* of CSDC Member schools. To access the modules, CSDC Members must have an account on this website. If you have a CSDC Member account but have forgotten your username or password, please click here. If you are unsure whether you have a CSDC Member account or need to create one, please contact us so we can create and affiliate your account with the correct CSDC Member school.

*To validate registration, CSDC may ask board members to provide documentation (such as a letter from the school principal) for their current role at the CSDC Member school.

Series & Modules

Online Governance Academy is comprised of a series of learning modules. Some modules have been grouped thematically into a longer multi-part series, such as the Board Member Training series and Brown Act Training series. Other Online Governance Academy training modules stand alone as independent units that address specific governance topics of interest to charter school board members.

Online Board Member Training


Designed specifically with governing board members in mind, but useful for the entire leadership team, CSDC’s Online Board Member Training provides a basic overview of the key topics every charter school board needs to know. This training includes 6 modules, presented in a series of short instructional tutorials, that discuss everything from the role of the Legislature, to the roles and responsibilities of board members and school administrators, to the alphabet soup of acronyms that make up the common vernacular of education policy, and much more. Additional information, including descriptions of each module, and how to register, can be found here.

Online Brown Act Training


This 5-module training series introduces the Ralph M. Brown Act, a piece of legislation that ensures Californians’ right to participate in the meetings of “local legislative bodies,” including the meetings of California public charter schools. This training will discuss to whom the Brown Act applies, how the Brown Act is triggered, how to create Brown Act-compliant notices and agendas, how to enter closed-session meetings of the Board, and more.

Additional information, including descriptions of each module, and how to register, can be found here.

Form 700 Webinar


By law all charter school board members are now required to complete and turn in the FPPC’s Form 700 by April 1 (annually). Let CSDC staff walk you through the process in this free (to CSDC members) webinar which reviews each section of the form and answers questions about topics like jurisdiction, investments and income. The 2021 Form 700 Webinar was held on February 24th. The recording and supplemental materials are available to CSDC School and Authorizer members.

Advocacy for Charter School Leaders Webinar


Are you ready to take your charter school show on the road and start building relationships in your community? The Advocacy for Charter School Leaders Webinar is an opportunity to learn and ask questions about how to build and grow relationships among service organizations, local governments and state government officials. This webinar comes with a customizable toolkit that can be used for creating handouts and other documents necessary to make high-quality presentations. Registration for the live webinar is now closed, but the recorded version will be available through CSDC's Online Governance Academy, for which members can register at any time.

The Role of Governing Boards During a Crisis Webinar


FREE! In this webinar, CSDC's Governance and Policy Specialist Caitlin O'Halloran reviews the role that board members should be taking during the COVID-19 pandemic in their oversight responsibilities in California's charter schools and how that extends to other crises which boards may need to navigate. This webinar is free to all members and nonmembers and is available for viewing.

Additional online modules coming soon...

Additional and updated Online Governance Academy modules are currently under development. To ensure you receive the latest updates on these modules, please join the Governance Academy mailing list.

Questions about the Governance Academy can be directed to

Additional Support

A benefit of CSDC Membership, the Online Governance Academy is one way in which CSDC provides support to California charter school governing board members. We also offer:

Sample Governing Board Policies

CSDC's Sample Governing Policies is an extensive compendium of the policies charter schools must (or ought to) have in place. Frequently updated to maintain compliance, the policies are available for download in Microsoft Word format in our resource directory.

Leadership Trainings

In addition to CSDC's annual conference, which features a half-day governance workshop and dozens of breakout sessions of interest to board members, governing board members also attend our annual Leadership Intensive.

Consulting Support

CSDC Member schools are entitled to up to 5 hours of individualized phone/email support. Schools requiring more in-depth training and consulting support are encouraged to contact CSDC.

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